Buy energy efficient appliances

Look for the Energy Star on appliances and consider the annual energy cost before buying. More efficient appliances cost more, but you make up the extra cost over time.

Replacing bulbs to save energy

Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFLs) bulbs. These bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer.

What to budget

After figuring out how much you have to budget, you need to spend every dollar on paper and give it a purpose before it even makes it into your checking account.

Reduce your interest rates

Request a reduction in the interest rate on your credit cards. Credit card companies sometimes are willing to reduce rates. It can’t hurt to ask.

Send away for and follow up on rebates

Send away for and follow up on rebates. After you buy a product with a rebate, send in the form that day. Then mark your calendar to remind yourself to follow as necessary.

Off-season clearance

Shop for off-season, clearance items. When it is 97 degrees outside it is hard to think about shopping for long-sleeve shirts and coats.

Save money on electricity

Compact fluorescent bulb uses about 75% less electricity, but the most energy-saving bulb of all is one that’s turned off

Making your yard safe for trick-or-treaters

To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.

Shop end-of-summer sales

You know as well as we do that kids wear short sleeve polo shirts all year long, so hit the big summer sales and snap up discounted duds that can be worn well into fall.

From: parenting.com Opens in new window

Fly toddlers for free

Most airlines will let your child fly free on your lap until age two. Many parents opt to start buying their child a seat between 12-18 months. If your baby is a squirmer you may want to consider this option.

From: babysafetravel.com Opens in new window

Daycare costs

Daycare costs run about $1,200 a month, depending on where you live. So sometimes it makes sense for one parent not to work, because when you compare that number versus the after-tax salary of one parent, two kids in daycare equal about $30,000 in annual salary.

From: webmd.com Opens in new window